But in this particular case, his name isn’t Bernie Madoff. It’s Ian Bick.
By 2013, Bick was an 18-year-old event promoter with multiple businesses in Danbury, Connecticut. On the outside, they seemed to be the successful ventures of an entrepreneurial prodigy. But behind the scenes, “it was a free-for-all s**tshow,” Bick says in “Generation Hustle,” HBO Max’s new anthology series about the young, ambitious and fraudulent.
While Bick says he wasn’t trying to run a Ponzi scheme — “I looked at it as taking one loan to pay off another loan,” Bick explains in the series — the feds disagreed. In 2016, Bick was convicted
of defrauding his business investors of nearly $500,000.
1. Charles Ponzi — $15 million
Compared to today’s notorious cons, the loss associated with this scam in 1920 might seem a pittance. But in the tale of Charles Ponzi, it wasn’t just the size of the swindle but the speed with which it was done. According to Smithsonian Magazine